Bogalusa rocked by another youth homicide

Published 10:45 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

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BOGALUSA—In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 13, 16-year-old Issac Baggett was killed when he was accidentally shot during a retaliatory shooting in the 500 block of Union Ave.

Baggett and at least three other individuals fired rifles and pistols into the home of Rekelia McGowan around 2:00 am, where she and some of her children were awakened by the gunshots.

At some point during the shooting, Baggett was shot in the head and was later found dead at the scene. He was participating in the shooting, and no details have been released about which of his accomplices fired the fatal shot. Police say that no shots were returned toward the perpetrators.

So far, three individuals have been arrested by the Bogalusa Police Department in connection with the crime, two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old. All three have been turned over to the Florida Parishes Juvenile Correction Center, and no more arrests are expected.

All three have been charged with one count of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated criminal damage to property, illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile, and failure to seek assistance.

Bogalusa’s acting Assistant Police Chief Troy Tervalon said, “It hits all of us at home, because we are all raising children the same age. It’s just tragic when that kind of thing happens, so we’re going to give it every effort we can to make sure we don’t leave anything untouched. We’re going to make sure justice is served for all the families involved.”

Community members have spoken out against the gun violence in the city, especially when it involves juveniles. They cited a lack of effective parenting, overexposure to violence in pop culture, and lax Louisiana Gun Laws as problems that lead to these sorts of crimes.